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The Christmas Shoes (Christmas Hope Series #1) Hardcover – October 26, 2004

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The Christmas Shoes (Christmas Hope Series #1) + The Christmas Blessing (Christmas Hope Series #2) + The Christmas Hope (Christmas Hope Series #3)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reissue edition (November 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312289510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312289515
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two couples find their lives transformed by a Christmas gift in VanLiere's debut novel, a gooey holiday parable that leaves no stone unturned in its pursuit of tear-jerking moments. Robert Layton is an ambitious lawyer who sacrifices his youthful idealism to become a partner and specialize in bankruptcy law. His ambition backfires, though, when his wife, Kate, announces that she wants a divorce from her often absent husband, throwing family life into chaos right before the holidays. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, another couple anticipates impending tragedy as young mechanic Robert Andrews tries to prepare his family for the coming death of his attractive wife, Maggie, from ovarian cancer. The two families' lives critically intersect when Layton goes Christmas shopping and encounters Andrews's young son, Nathan, trying to buy a pair of shoes for his mother as a going-away present. When the hard-hearted lawyer sees that the boy is short of cash, he ponies up for the purchase. The transformation that follows makes for a heartwarming story, and VanLiere writes some affecting family scenes that contrast the material poverty of the Andrewses with the spiritual poverty of the Laytons. But the story's beauty is marred by the author's nonstop holiday clich‚s in both assorted characters and passages of decidedly preachy prose.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"A heartwarming story."--Publishers Weekly
" inspiring Christmas story." --BookPage

"A delightful book."--Tampa Tribune & Times

"Heartwarming."--The Sanford Herald

"Has precious gifts for all of us." --The Washington Times

Customer Reviews

It's sad but a very good book.
Also recommended: Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices--another holiday book I read every year...
This story is an inspiration for all who love the true meaning of Christmas.
Ms. Barbara A. Dickerson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By amazon3131 on December 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This quick read is touching, tear-jerking, and a little overly sweet. It stereotyped characters and preachy passages will keep it off the list of the all-time greats in literature, but chances are good that you won't regret reading it anyway.

The story line is fairly straightforward: the loving, but poor, family is having its life turned inside out as the mother dies; the boy makes brief, but life-changing, contact with a worldly-minded, money-driven attorney whose wealthy family is crumbling from neglect.

The story is told primarily from the point of view of Robert Layton, the lawyer.

This is a three-hanky book; don't read it in places where crying will be embarrassing.

It is particularly recommended for people who have lost loved ones, especially around significant holidays, and healthcare professionals who care more about people than about the (admittedly important) scientific details.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany Ann Rogers on December 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I started this book late last night and got up VERY early to finish reading. It was just such a quick read and so sweet that I didn't want it to end.
As you know from the title it is a story that is set during some various holiday seasons over the years. There are actually two stories that are intertwining together. The narrator is a successful lawyer named Robert. Robert has used his success and money to buy his family's love and is coming the realization that money can't buy love. The other story that we see is the story of Nathan, a third grader, who's mom is dying of cancer. A chance meeting on Christmas Eve intertwines the lives of Robert and Nathan together in a meeting that will affect the rest of their lives. In this meeting Robert realizes that the smallest things in lives are what matters and sets out to change his outlook on life.
This is one of the first books that I have cried over in a long time and cry more than once I did. As a teacher I was just touched by the kindness that Nathan's teacher showed him and as a person I was touched by the kindness of others in the book.
I have never heard the song that this book is based on, but now I hope I get the chance to. I also hope that you get the chance to read this book. It is wonderful.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sebastien Pharand on November 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Christmas Shoes is bound to become a Christmas classic. It is heart-warming, intelligent and very touching. It is the perfect book to read during the holidays, or if you need to find something to cheer your soul up a little. It is the perfect book to put you into the Christmas mood.
The book contains two stories. The first is of Nathan, a young boy who's mother is dying of cancer. This will be her last Christmas as death is just around the corner. Nathan wants to make this Christmas the "best ever" for his mother. The second story is about Robert, a man who has just realized that he has put his business life in front of his family for way too long. When his wife tells him that she wants to leave him, Robert realizes that he has been a bad father and husband all these years and sets out to make things right again.
Both stories are wonderfully written and very entertaining. They also both offer great 'visuals' of Christmas as both famlies try to make this Christmas the best of their lives. Both stories are filled with hope, desire and love.
This is the perfect holiday book, the best of its kind since The Chirstmas Box. Its everything that you'd look for in a Christmas story. This is one book that I waill faithfully come back to every December from now on, in order to prepare myself to the wonders and joys of Christmas.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Do you like a book thats good but sad in other times? Well if you do then this is the book for you! This book is about a young little boy who finds out that his mother has a disease, his mother gets really sick one day. His father says "its not going to be much longer before momma goes home to heaven". As the little boy thinks of what to buy his mom before she dies, he walks pass this shoe store and see's these beautiful pair of shoes.... He goes in the store and he thinks of how he cna save enough money to buy these shoes but before his mother dies. He heard on the T.V. that people can save cans and recycle them to make money. After days went by he finally got enough money for these shoes. Dingle-ling the bell rang as he walked back to the shoes he looked and looked for the shoes and still couldnt find them, but all of a sudden he sees the beautiful shiny shoe's under some boxes. And then... you will have to read the book to find out what happens next!

This is a great book and you will love it if u read the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By endlesswonderofreading VINE VOICE on August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I'm a Christmas freak. There really is no other way to put it. I just love everything about Christmas: the ambience, the decorations, the nice, cold winters, the food, the music (that I start to listen to in September), the movies (that I tend to watch all year round), and so much more. Except for the Christmas books. For some reason, I have yet to find a Christmas book that I truly love (in the interest of full disclosure I will say that I have yet to read A Christmas Carol. I know...). Unfortunately, The Christmas Shoes was no exception.

I didn't mind the cliches, I didn't mind the heartwarming-ness that can sometimes make people want to gag, I didn't mind the sweetness. What I did mind was the fact that apparently I was supposed to feel something for these characters, yet I couldn't because they weren't at all developed. Every single character fell into their stereotypic roles. And sometimes I can deal with that. But in The Christmas Shoes I couldn't because there was just nothing other than the stereotypical characters there. I'm supposed to feel depressed, at first, because of all that sad things that were happening and then feel oh so happy when the resolution rolled around. Maybe I would have...if the characters weren't paper thin development wise. But since they were, I didn't feel anything for any of them and in turn, I didn't feel what I was supposed to be feeling while reading the book.

So, unfortunately, I found The Christmas Shoes to be a huge disappointment. I just didn't find anything reedemable about it. It was a quick page-turner, but mostly because the book is so short. It would have been better with a couple hundred more pages to flesh some of the characters out. I, however, will still check out the movie as it seems eons better than the book.
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More About the Author

Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and gifted conference speaker. She has published ten titles including The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing, both of which were adapted into movies (starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris) and garnered big ratings for CBS television. LifetimeTelevision adapted The Christmas Hope (starring Madeline Stowe) and premiered it December 2009 to stellar ratings as well. Donna's non-seasonal novel, The Angels of Morgan Hill, has captured the same warmth as her Christmas books and continues to please loyal and new fans alike.

Donna is the recipient of a Retailer's Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year and was recently inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence joining such luminaries as Coretta Scott King, Hugh Downs, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Senator John Glenn. Donna is an in-demand conference speaker having appeared at countless women's and family events, including select Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women conferences.

Donna's latest book, The Christmas Journey (October 2010) is a retelling of the story of the Nativity told through Donna's signature voice and accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered watercolor illustrations throughout. The eighty-mile journey of a common carpenter and a simple peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, the journey of Joseph and Mary and her delivery inside a common barn continues to bless and inspire hope in people around the world.

Look for her brand new novel entitled "The Christmas Note this fall (2011).

Donna lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband, Troy, and their children, Grace, Kate and David.

Learn more at

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The Christmas Shoes (Christmas Hope Series #1)
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